5 Essential Tips for Managing Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a life-long condition that affects the central nervous system. It occurs when your immune system attacks and damages your myelin, a nerve-insulating layer that facilitates the fast and efficient transmission of electrical impulses along nerve cells, thereby causing your nerve impulses to slow down.

Here are common symptoms of multiple sclerosis:

  • numbness
  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • loss of balance
  • cognitive difficulty

Living with multiple sclerosis can be life-changing as it complicates your life in numerous ways. Luckily, there are different treatment plans you can adopt to manage this condition.

Let’s get started.

Reduce the daily demands on your energy

To begin, you need to reduce the intensity of your daily activities and take breaks, when necessary. This involves adopting strategies that help you cool off, like pacing yourself. It also involves any of the following:

  • Put your most used items within reach
  • Use occupational therapy tools, like a jar opener or electric toothbrush, to make specific tasks easier
  • Put a mini fridge in the room you spend the most time in
  • Schedule reminders
  • Use voice-to-text software to limit your typing
  • Keep important information in a written or digital journal
  • Take a break whenever you feel tired
  • Conserve your energy by using mobility aids like canes, wheelchairs, and walkers

Lastly, remember that you are not alone. So, ask your family members and friends for help with tasks that will make your life easier.

Make your environment comfortable

People with MS are sensitive to temperature changes. As a result, your symptoms may worsen when the weather gets too hot or too cold.

Consequently, ensure that your environment is always at comfortable levels.

You can do this in the following ways:

  • Wear hot weather clothes that contain gel packs
  • Use a firm mattress with a cooling surface
  • Stay hydrated
  • Use fans or air-conditioning
  • Take cooldown breaks
  • Avoid continuous exposure to direct sunlight

Stay active

Engaging in regular exercises provides numerous benefits, including improved strength, balance, endurance, and flexibility. It also aids certain MS complications like cognitive difficulties, constipation, and sleep issues.

Exercising doesn’t have to include weight lifting or high-intensity cardio to be effective. Staying active and engaging in gentler activities like yoga, swimming, gardening, and household chores is often enough.

Eat healthy, nutrient-rich diets

A healthy, balanced diet benefits everyone, especially people with chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis. Include a healthy mix of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Also, eat whole-grain foods, like oats or whole-wheat bread, and healthy fats, like nuts or avocados.

Further, avoid taking supplements, like vitamin D or biotin, without your doctor’s recommendation.

Be particular about your safety

Some symptoms of MS can significantly impact your safety by causing falls. For example, reduced motor control and loss of balance.

If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor and make changes to your habits. These changes can be any of the following:

  • Wear comfortable shoes with good treads
  • Use appliances like a coffee pot, kettle, and iron, with an auto-shutoff feature
  • Avoid locking your bathroom door
  • Ensure that your mobile phone is always within reach
  • Install extra rails in vital places like your bathroom or stairway
  • Place pointed sharp utensils facing downward in your dishwasher

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